A Toronto-based dance artist, writer, director and advocate, Shannon Litzenberger is a passionate and experienced arts leader in the Canadian cultural sector. In her former role as Executive Director of the Canadian Dance Assembly for more than five years, her work in the area of dance and arts policy contributed significantly to shaping sector-wide policy positions on behalf of the arts and culture community. Representing the national dance sector, she was a founding member of Canada’s Performing Arts Alliance and a member of the Canadian Arts Coalition Steering Committee – Canada’s largest ever group of artists, business leaders and volunteers assembled from across the country. She continues to participate in these arts policy forums and others, now as the first-ever Metcalf Arts Policy Fellow. In this capacity, she is spending time exploring the relationship between arts policy and practice at all levels of government. Shannon is also a member of the Ontario Culture Days Taskforce, the Toronto Arts Foundation Advocacy Committee, the Canadian Arts Coalition Steering Committee and the Toronto ArtsVote Steering Committee. She is called on frequently by cultural organizations and government agencies to provide consultation and to participate in committees and working groups in the areas of dance and cultural policy. She has been an invited guest speaker and panelist at several events and conferences across Canada, and contributes regular articles on arts policy to The Mark News, The Dance Current magazine and others.
Shannon is also engaged in exploring themes of social and cultural politics through her work as an artist and has collaborated with some of Canada’s most dynamic artistic voices including David Earle, Marie-Josée Chartier, Michael Greyeyes, DA Hoskins, Susie Burpee, Heidi Strauss, Darryl Tracy and Meagan O’Shea. Her most recent artistic credits include Land of the Living, a new dance work created by acclaimed aboriginal artist Michael Greyeyes, Dead Philosopher’s Limbo – a 12-hour performance installation commissioned by the City of Toronto for the 2009 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, created by award-winning indie dance artist Susie Burpee, DA Hoskins’ critically-acclaimed solo work The Left Seed, performed at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival and a two week Northern Ontario tour of the first ever Cree opera, Pimooteewin: The Journey, directed by Michael Greyeyes and produced by Sounstreams Canada. Currently, she is collaborating with award-winning dancer, choreographer and director Marie-Josée Chartier on the creation of a new full evening solo work on the theme of ‘Home’.